Expectations or agreements?

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We carry all kinds of expectations into our days – expectations about relationships, performance, quality standards, purchases. What makes expectations challenging is that they are unilateral, often unexplored, and are frequently made known in either vague or authoritative ways. And when expectations are unmet, the result is usually disappointment.

Take a seat in any break room, boardroom, meeting room, or bedroom and you are sure to hear complaints, the drone of disappointment, and the bitterness of having been let down. Yet, if we rearrange our thinking, disappointment can be significantly minimized if not eliminated.

Turn your expectation, complaint or disappointment into a request. What do you need?
Then explore how to turn the request into an agreement. Ask:

  • What are you willing to do?
  • Here’s what you can count on from me. What can I count on from you?
  • What would you need from me (the organization) to support you in an agreement?
  • What do you think we would need to do to make this even better?
  • What might get in the way of us keeping this agreement with each other?

With these questions you’ve opened the possibility of co-authoring a strong, solid agreement that reflects everyone’s voice. Making a request is bold and courageous, and an act of integrity. We can use our imagination and perception to create an authentic agreement that can be honored by everyone because it was formed by everyone.

For more detail, read the full blog post for June, 2017.